Pop Superstar Britney Spears has been charged with one misdemeanor count of hit and run driving and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid California driver’s license. The incident allegedly took place last August at a San Fernando Valley parking lot where she is accused of smashing her vehicle into a car and then leaving the accident scene.
On video footage shot by the paparazzi, Spears is seen hitting another motor vehicle with her car while trying to park her car in a space at the lot. The footage shows her examining the damage to her vehicle and then leaving the accident scene.
The owner of the other vehicle, Kim Robard-Rifkin, filed a report with the LAPD on August 9, three days after the hit and run accident. She says she discovered that Britney was the alleged suspect that hit her car when she read about the incident on CelebTV.com. She says she just wants her car repaired.
Each misdemeanor count carries a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 maximum fine in California. Spears’s arraignment is scheduled for October 10.
Whenever you are in a motor vehicle accident, you are expected-by law-to remain at the accident scene and exchange contact information with any other parties that are involved. If a driver hits a parked motor vehicle, the majority of U.S. states require that the driver responsible for causing the accident make a reasonable attempt to notify the other driver of the accident.
In Massachusetts, a driver has five days to report the motor vehicle accident if the collision resulted in injury or death or there was property damage greater than $1,000.
Here is the Massachusetts law regarding hit and run driving from the General Laws of Massachusetts:
Chapter 90: Section 26. Accident reports; supplemental report; penalty for violation
Section 26. Every person operating a motor vehicle which is involved in an accident in which any person is killed or injured or in which there is damage in excess of one thousand dollars to any one vehicle or other property shall, within five days after such accident, report in writing to the registrar on a form approved by him and send a copy thereof to the police department having jurisdiction on the way where such accident occurred; provided, however, that such police department shall accept a report filed by an owner or operator whose vehicle has been damaged in an accident in which another person has unlawfully left the scene of such accident. Such report shall not be required during the period of incapacity of any person who is physically incapable of making a report. If the operator is not the owner of the vehicle and is physically incapable of making such written report, the owner shall within five days after the accident make such report based on such knowledge as he may have and such information as he can obtain regarding the accident.
The registrar may require any such operator or owner to file a supplementary written report whenever in the opinion of the registrar the original report is insufficient.
The registrar may revoke or suspend the license of any person violating any provision of this section.
If you have been charged with hit and run driving in Massachusetts or of driving without a valid license, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about traffic violations cases to represent you.
You have the right to remain silent until you speak with a criminal defense lawyer. It is a good idea to exercise this right if you don’t want to accidentally incriminate yourself.
Britney Spears faces hit-run charge, CNN, September 22, 2007
Spears Charged with Brit and Run, TMZ, September 21, 2007
Chapter 90: Section 26. Accident reports; supplemental report; penalty for violation, The General Laws of Massachusetts
Related Web Resources:
Hit and Run Cases, Online Lawyer Source
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